| Max-Weber-Kolleg, Religion, Society, and World Relations, Research

International Graduate School begins its second funding phase

The second funding phase of the International Graduate School (IGS) "Resonant Self-World Relations in Ancient and Modern Socio-Religious Practices", a cooperation between the University of Erfurt and the Karl Franzens University of Graz, supported with a total of around 4.1 million euros, will start at the beginning of April 2022.

The project was successful in its first phase in 2017, when a number of dissertations were completed. These have harnessed the collaboration of ancient and biblical studies disciplines on the one hand and modernity-related disciplines, especially sociology, on the other. The focus is on how people in antiquity or in modern times form a resonant relationship to the world with the help of rituals. World relations refer to the social, the material as well as the transcendent world. The focus is thus on the question of under what conditions and with what consequences such world relations are experienced as resonant.

The projects developed within the framework of the IGS are wide-ranging, both thematically and chronologically. They include, for example, projects on practices of German remembrance culture and their effect on the confrontation with the Holocaust among migrants, on rituals and resonances of the clubbing scene using the example of Berlin, or on "event religion" as an alternative to forms of modern religiosity. On the part of ancient studies, for example, resonance relationships are being investigated - in the context of work on personifications of abstract qualities in Greek comedy and their expression in ancient vase painting, on atheism as a form of religious resonance in antiquity, or on the Song of Songs as a contribution to the radicalisation of the idea of relationship.

The dissertations completed so far have been defended with above-average success, which speaks for the high quality of the structured doctoral programme. The latter consists of colloquia, seminars, reading circles, workshops organised by the doctoral researchers themselves and two annual plenary conferences. In particular, the weekly colloquia, in which each doctoral student presents and intensively discusses the current status of the doctoral project once a semester, enable a broad interdisciplinary consideration of individual research questions and a constant further development of one's own research with the goal of a rapid completion.

The IGS currently employs 15 doctoral students at both locations. In addition, there are six associated doctoral students and two post-docs who participate in the project on a selective basis. The project is characterised by a joint programme on the one hand and intensive exchange between the locations on the other, which also includes the transfer of the doctoral researchers to the partner institution in the second year. Through new cohorts each year, a consolidation of what has already been achieved has been achieved over the years, while at the same time new impulses are set by the newly starting colleagues.

In the second funding phase, the composition of the people at both locations is now changing. The IGS has suffered a heavy loss with the death of art historian Dr. Dr. Jutta Vinzent (Erfurt/Birmingham), who had already been recruited for the second funding phase. The IGS now welcomes new members in Laerke Recht and Franz Winter, who strengthen archaeology and religious studies in Graz, and Andreas Pettenkofer and Verena Weidner, who represent sociology and music education in Erfurt. With Verena Weidner from the Faculty of Education at the University of Erfurt, a desideratum is addressed that became apparent in the course of the first funding phase and that questions the role of music in the context of ritual and resonance. Verena Weidner:

"I am looking forward to working with my colleagues and making resonance in music and educational processes a topic at the IGS."

The International Graduate School (IGS) "Resonant Self-World Relations in Ancient and Modern Socio-Religious Practices" is funded on the German side by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and on the Austrian side by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). Positions for PhD projects are currently advertised at both locations.

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